For students of foreign languages, whether Japanese working hard to learn English or us gaijin studying Japanese, success often comes from concrete strategies learners come up with for themselves. My wife learned English by watching American daytime dramas, even the horribly boring ones, and mastered asking "WH" questions (who, what, when, where, how?) of others to keep a conversation flowing. Japanese textbook and manga buyer Yasu says he carried his vocabulary word book and flashcards with him everywhere to write down words he needed to learn. I augmented what I was learning in Japanese class by reading manga that interested me and translating JPOP and anime songs so I could sing them at Japanese karaoke bars later (memorizing songs helps because you can sing the song to yourself if you forget the word). I learned early on that my brain responded well to repeatedly writing kanji or sentences, as holding sentences in your short-term memory while you write them helps them transfer to your longer-term memory. People are all different, however, and tricks that worked for one person might not be good for others.
What innovative study techniques have you come up with?
What special study methods have you come up with?